Brainstorm (1983) - Rotten Tomatoes

Brainstorm (1983)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

A scientist has been experimenting with a brain-reading device that can read a person's brainwave and translate it to videotape. When he wants to translate the brainwaves of his recently deceased partner, his superiors and several government agency types are seriously opposed to it.more
Rating: PG (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By: ,
Written By: Robert Stitzel, Philip Frank Messina, Bruce Joel Rubin, Lawrence B. Marcus, Robert Getchell
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 22, 2000
MGM Home Entertainment


Natalie Wood
as Karen Brace
Christopher Walken
as Michael Brace
Louise Fletcher
as Lillian Reynolds
Cliff Robertson
as Alex Terson
Jordan Christopher
as Gordy Forbes
Bill Morey
as James Zimbach
Donald Hotton
as Landon Marks
Alan Fudge
as Robert Jenkins
Jason Lively
as Chris Brace
Nina Axelrod
as Simulator Technician
Desiree Ayres
as Bikini Girl #1
Roger Black
as Bob Burns
Robert Bloodworth
as Man at Party #4
Charlie Briggs
as Colonel Easterbrook
Jim Burk
as Lab Technician
Keith Colbert
as Dr. Ted Harris
John Gladstein
as Dr. Pederson
Jack Harmon
as Security Guard
Thomas Huff
as Stunt Guard #2
Darrell Larson
as Security Technician
Glen Lee
as Agent #4
Wallace Merck
as Agent #3
John Vidor
as Bellhop
John Hugh
as Animal Lab Technicia...
Bill Couch
as Agent #1
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Brainstorm

Critic Reviews for Brainstorm

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

This doomed effort fails to generate much excitement either visually or conceptually.

Full Review… | August 8, 2012
Creative Loafing

A mess, but an interesting mess . . .

Full Review… | July 16, 2012
Sci-Fi Movie Page

Audience Reviews for Brainstorm


Brainstorm was simply just kind of okay when you stop to consider how great a movie about this concept of memory/emotional transference should have been. EVERY character in this movie was incredibly dull and half baked. The story was also weak and the only thing that really shined with Brainstorm was some of Douglas Trumbull's (the man responsible for 2001: A Space Odyssey's effects) direction. The fact that he changed aspect ratios to show the perspective of Christopher Walken and Louise Fletcher's invention in itself is almost worth the watch. The fact that Brainstorm is full of 2001 nods/ripoffs (one of the characters is named Hal for crissakes) kind of deflates it. I realize that Natalie Wood's death kind of crapped on the production as a whole but there's only so much you can blame on tragedy.

Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

From Douglas Trumbull, the man behind visual effects in such films as 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Andromeda Strain, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Blade Runner comes Brainstorm. His only other notable directorial work before this was Silent Running, an ecological Sci-Fi thriller that was decades before its time. There's no argument that the man knows special effects, but that doesn't always translate into knowing how to direct actors. Some of the takes come off as awkward first take rehearsals and the dialogue can be thin at times.

Still, it's great to see Christopher Walken in one of the few lead roles in his career. Louise Fletcher is great as the head scientist fighting for control of her invention from the evil military forces who have come up with a new and exciting way to kill people. The film is also noted for being the final work of Natalie Wood who drowned during the production and blah blah blah. The main attractions of the film are cinematography and the special effects. The lights bouncing off of the silver tape, the virtual theater scenes, this button, that light, etc... All in all, Brainstorm remains a provocative sci-fi flick and should be seen once by all film fans.

El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer

Not a bad sci-fi of scientists inventing a way of tape-recording mental events. There goes for the memory of actress Natalie Wood in her final movie.

Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

Brainstorm Quotes

– Submitted by Alannah D (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Alannah D (3 years ago)

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